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IBM has opened a new data center in Korea, in Pangyo outside Seoul, in collaboration with SK Holdings C&C. IBM said the new center would support growing demand across the country for cloud computing services.

The two companies' relationship for the new data center follows an existing partnership that offers hybrid cloud capabilities to the gaming, IT, manufacturing and retail industries.

They also plan to make a cognitive cloud platform available at the new data center, 'enabling local startups and IT developers to create cognitive apps and industry-specific services that leverage Watson.'

IBM said clients in Korea would benefit from faster time-to-market, improved performance, support for industrial-strength public and hybrid cloud, and access to IBM's global network of 47 cloud data centers 'so they can manage their data more securely and efficiently across global markets to drive expansion.'

The new facility is modeled on IBM's standardized pod design. It will have the capacity for thousands of physical servers and offer the full range of cloud infrastructure services, including bare metal servers, virtual servers, storage, security services and networking, according to IBM.

Developers in Korea will also have access to Bluemix, IBM's cloud platform, and more than 150 APIs and services spanning key areas such as cognitive, blockchain, Internet of Things and big data.

IBM said that local universities were also participating by cultivating future cloud talent. IBM and SK Holdings C&C have been teaming with leading universities, including Dankook University, Ewha Woman's University and Sungkyunkwan University, providing students with education and training based on the IBM cloud.

IBM said the new facility was its ninth cloud data center in the Asia-Pacific region, and part of its growing global network of 47 cloud data centers. 'With access to a local on ramp for IBM and SK Holdings' Cloud services, Korean enterprises and start-ups can accelerate their digital transformation, business innovation and global expansion,' IBM said.

Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud, said the company's strategy was designed to 'fuel new ecosystems to spur innovation and collaborate with companies who understand the local market."" He added: 'Together, we are able to bring the local expertise, platform and data services that gives Korean customers the ability to compete on a global scale.""